Blackhawks give head coach Jeremy Colliton a two-year contract extension

CHICAGO – Just a day short of turning 36 years old, Jeremy Colliton got one of the best early birthday presents he could have wished for on Tuesday morning.

That’s because the Blackhawks’ coach got a little job security ahead of his third season with the Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks announced that they’ve extended their head coaches contract for two more seasons as he deal now runs through the 2022-2023 season. It gives some security to Colliton, who is currently overseeing a new younger era of the franchise that’s reshaping itself after their dynasty decade of the 2010s.

“Jeremy has shown an innate ability to develop young talent throughout his two seasons as head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks,” said general manager and president of hockey operations Stan Bowman in a statement released by the team. “This, coupled with his vast knowledge of the game, exceptional communication skills and determination to win, makes us extremely confident Jeremy has what it takes to lead our team back to an elite level as we continue to build a roster that can compete year in and year out.”

Colliton had the difficult task of replacing franchise legend Joel Quenneville after he was fired on November 6, 2018 after leading the team to three Stanley Cup titles. Taking over early that season, the Blackhawks rallied from a bad start to finish 36-34-12 but failed to qualify for the playoffs for a second-straight season.

That may have happened again the next season when the team was 32-30-8 through March 11th, but the pandemic pause caused the NHL to expand the playoffs, which got the Blackhawks in with a 12th seed. They’d upset the Oilers in the preliminary round in the Edmonton bubble before falling to the Golden Knights in the first round of the traditional Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Colliton’s contract extension comes on the eve of the start of a unique pandemic-shortened season for the team in which they’ll play 56 games consisting of mostly two-game series. The coach will lead his team onto the ice Wednesday against the reigning Stanley Cup champion Lightning in Tampa Bay, doing so with a little extra job security.

“I’m thankful to the Wirtz Family and Stan Bowman for their continued support during my time with the organization,” said Colliton in a statement released by the team. “As we continue to build on the foundation we have here with this team, we will remain committed to working with our players to put them in the best positions to succeed.

“I look forward to the challenge of developing a team our fans will be proud of and leading the Chicago Blackhawks back to a championship level.”